Tag Heuer needs no introduction, its quality and craftsmanship have stood the test of time. The 2000 Series came in many different designs over the years but this is definitely one of the more desirable ones. It’s sturdy and reliable, the timekeeping is perfect as you would expect from Tag Heuer. Encased in thick stainless steel and enticing us with its rotating bezel and the well known ‘Click’! Case measures 38mm in diameter and 42mm from lug to lug, a good size compared with today’s watch sizes. The dial is black and clean with the logo in the centre, there are the usual luminous markers, quick set date at 3 o’clock and Mercedes’ hands, all under the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The crown can screw in/lock and features the logo, case back also has the logo and screws in. Model/serial numbers are WE1110-R #V87209. It features the original strap in stainless steel with double lock clasp, s/n 300/81 and measures approximately 7.3” or 18.5cm. The original box and papers are long gone, but it will come with a gift box. It has not been pressure sealed, so water resistance is not guaranteed.
Originally known as Heuer, the company was founded in 1860 in St-Imier, the Tag association didn’t come about until 125 years later. Although some of the achievements have been overlooked, Heuer patented the oscillating pinion in 1887, which is still used by watch manufacturers today. Tag Heuer are best known for their sporting lines, such as the Carrera and Monaco, and it’s no surprise to see that wearers have included the likes of Muhammad Ali, Ayrton Senna, Steve McQueen and Tiger Woods.
Today, the TAG Heuer 2000 collection revolves around the Monaco, Autavia and Carrera. 20 or 30 years ago, it was a very different story. Back then, re-editions were considered a nice little sideline to the mainstream models, but certainly not the basis of the collection. That honor went to the 1000 and 2000 series, a range of models that, for a while at least, symbolized everything that was fine and mighty about the Swiss watchmaker. The 1000 came during a turning point for TAG Heuer (and indeed, the rest of the Swiss watchmaking community). The Quartz crisis of the 1970s had bought the European industry to its knees; with the whole world and its mother more interested in the cheap Japanese quartz watches flooding the market than they were traditional Swiss pieces, TAG Heuer 2000 needed to find a new angle, fast. It found it with the 1000, the brand’s first ever quartz diver watch. An overnight hit, the 1000 effectively reversed TAG Heuer’s fortunes and bought it back from the brink of collapse. But you can’t rely on the same thing for ever. Despite its popularity, the 1000 was always a relatively simple piece. By the early 80s, the watchmaker was in the market for something a little more complex – and something that would pull it out of the financial abyss it was in danger of falling into. It found it with the 2000, a series that aimed to build on the popularity of the 1000 Diver while extending it into quartz and automatic chronograph territory. Available in a dazzling range of models (at one point, there was even a budget-blowing $50,000 Series 2000 Chronometer floating around), and bearing some very modern features (including 200m water resistance, scratch proof sapphire crystal, a double safety clasp, a screw-in crown, and luminous indexes and hands), it was a remarkable series that served as the beating heart of the brand’s catalog for over 20 years.
Today’s Aquaracer has one watch in particular to thank for its existence: the TAG Heuer 2000 Exclusive. An outstandingly ambitious watch, it combined state-of-the art functionality with classic aesthetics to stunning effect. Featuring scratch-resistant-sapphire crystal, a large, modern, unidirectional rotating bezel in stainless steel, water-resistance to 660 feet (200 M), a stainless steel head and bracelet with flip-lock clasp, a screw-down crown, large numerals at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock and polished hour batons at the other hours, and a new hand design, it was a handsome, hardworking model that’s since gone on to become a collector’s piece.